Yesterday, with only the Senate in session (the House was only in town for a short week) there were 38 pieces of legislation introduced. One of those was of potential interest to readers of this blog; S 242, bill to reauthorize certain programs under the Public Health Service Act and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response, and for other purposes. This bill was introduced by Sen. Burr (R,NC).
This bill looks like it may be similar to HR 307, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, that was passed last month in the House. It would make little sense to introduce a companion bill when the House bill has already been referred to the Senate, so this may include some alternative language. Still that could have been handled with an amendment to the House bill, so we will have to wait and see what the bill actually says when it is published by the GPO.
Again, I would like to see it include a requirement for high-risk chemical facilities to notify local health agencies and hospitals of significant quantities of toxic inhalation chemicals used at those facilities so that there medical response community could be properly prepared for a mass casualty event if there were a large release of such materials either due to an accidental release or a terrorist attack.